House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth
Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister likes padlocks. He locked the doors of Parliament when things were not going his way. He has locked the post office doors. He is punishing the workers who were trying to get better conditions while continuing to deliver the mail.

Why is the Prime Minister punishing the workers for the decisions made by his government and his obedient servants at Canada Post?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was the opposition that decided to padlock Parliament for months for an election. For that reason, the Canadian electorate decided to give this government a majority so that it can govern this country and act in the interests of the electorate.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

June 23rd, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth
Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government shut down the post office and is now trying to impose wages that are lower than the management was offering the workers.

The Prime Minister has rendered collective bargaining pointless in this country. He is signalling that if employers cannot get what they want at the bargaining table, never mind, Ottawa will legislate it for them. Why bother to bargain? It is a terrible precedent.

Will the Prime Minister at least remove the wage section from this bill and let an arbitrator decide on this particular important matter? It is only fair.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the wage rates, as set in the bill, are only fair. They reflect what we have negotiated with federal public servants.

However, we need to be absolutely clear on the difference here. The government, unlike the NDP, is not beholden to one of the parties at the table. The government represents the wider interest of the Canadian economy. This strike is bad for the economy and we will act.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the surface, the documents revealed by the Afghan detainee committee yesterday contain little new information.

After all this time and money, we are right back where we started. Torture and extrajudicial executions are not unusual in Afghan prisons, and Canada has handed prisoners over to these torturers.

Why does the government not do what is right and demand a public inquiry?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is and has always been committed to handling Afghan Taliban prisoners in accordance with our international obligations. We have just been through a 12-month $12 million process where an unprecedented amount of information has been put before a number of parliamentarians of this place. It has been ruled upon by former members of the Supreme Court who have done an outstanding job for this country.

I think Canadians have a clear picture that our men and women in uniform fully accepted all our international obligations and have done a heck of a good job representing this country.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister is clearly grasping at straws here.

What the government spent $12 million on was trying to suppress the truth. Less than one-tenth of the documents were reviewed by the panel of ex-judges and less than half were even looked at by the back-room committee of MPs. For what? It was so the government could put this off for a year and now falsely pretend that judgment has been rendered.

Why did the Conservatives choose a process that hid the facts from Canadians and why not hold a public inquiry now?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was, as I am sure many members in this place were, tremendously disappointed when the New Democratic Party refused to participate in this committee of parliamentarians.

Yesterday some 4,200 pieces of documentation on this important issue were released. We offered a briefing to all three of the opposition parties and let me say that I was even more disappointed that not one person from the New Democratic Party bothered to show up for that briefing to have this information explained.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

We would have come if we had been invited, Mr. Speaker.

With respect to the current postal dispute, I wonder if the Prime Minister would—

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I cannot even hear the question there is so much talking going on from that end of the chamber.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

They are an unruly bunch, Mr. Speaker, and there is not much we can do with them.

I wonder if the Prime Minister would recognize that one feature of the legislation that he is proposing is in a sense unprecedented. The way in which the arbitration process is set up is extremely interventionist. I wonder if the Prime Minister might consider, even at this late hour, some modification of the arbitration clauses in the legislation which might in fact provide us with the possibilities of a resolution of this conflict.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not accept that there is anything unprecedented here, but what I do stress is the fact that this is a dispute that has gone on for some time. It is increasingly damaging to a wide interest of the Canadian economy, small business, charities and ordinary working people. This is not acceptable and the government is acting to ensure that postal services resume for Canadians.

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on another topic, the question of the Senate, the Prime Minister seems to be fixated on continuing with a proposal which has now aroused the opposition of the province of Ontario, as well as the province of Quebec, as well as former Premier Getty of his own province, who points out that having an elected Senate in Alberta with only six members in fact seriously discriminates against that province.

I wonder why the Prime Minister is persisting with a proposal that is unconstitutional, that is opposed by major provinces in the country and that does not have a hope of success?

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, the election possibility raised in the legislation is an option for provinces. Some may choose to participate, some may not, but it is important in this day and age that we move forward with reform.

I know the Liberal Party will go to any lengths, including making completely false statements, to try to justify the status quo in the Senate of Canada and that is simply not acceptable to Canadians.